Course Credits and Classification
Progress toward graduation is measured through course credit units. Austin College is on a 4-1-4 calendar system (4 courses fall – 1 course January term – 4 courses spring) and considers one course credit unit to be equivalent to four semester credit hours. Most curricular offerings are one course credit unit. Other classes, as designated, may carry only one-fourth or one-half course credit unit.
Student classification is determined at the beginning of each term:
An undergraduate student is one who does not hold a bachelor’s degree and is enrolled in undergraduate courses.
A full-time undergraduate student is one who is registered for at least three course credit units during a fall or spring term, at least two course credit units during the summer term, or one course credit unit during the January term. For purposes of federal financial aid, an undergraduate student must be registered in three course credit units in the fall or spring to be considered full-time and at least one and one-half course credit units during the fall, spring, or summer term to be considered half-time.
A part-time student is one who is registered for fewer course credit units than are specified for full-time status.
Traditional undergraduate student classifications:
- A freshman is one who has completed less than seven course credit units.
- A sophomore is one who has completed at least seven course credit units.
- A junior is one who has completed at least 15 course credit units.
- A senior is one who has completed at least 25 course credit units.
A special high school student is one who has been admitted to one or more undergraduate courses while concurrently enrolled in high school.
A second baccalaureate student is one who has already completed a bachelor’s degree but has decided to complete another bachelor’s degree after conferral of the first degree.
A graduate student is one who holds a bachelor’s degree and has been admitted to the graduate program.
A full-time, graduate student is one who is registered for at least two course credit units during a fall, spring or summer term. Graduate students are considered to be half-time students when enrolled in at least one course credit unit.
A provisional graduate student is one who holds a bachelor’s degree and has been admitted to the Austin Teacher Program but has not yet been admitted to the graduate program.
A special undergraduate student is one who has been admitted to one or more undergraduate courses but has not been admitted to work toward a degree.
A special graduate student is one who holds a bachelor’s degree and has been admitted to one or more graduate courses but has not been admitted to either the Austin Teacher Program or the graduate program.
Registration and Withdrawal
A student becomes a member of a class only by registering or adding the class through the proper procedures via WebHopper (more information regarding registration procedures can be found online with the Registrar’s Office). The student’s mentor must approve registration for a student for each term. The faculty access class rolls through WebHopper. When a student’s name appears on the WebHopper class roll, the student has officially registered for the class. Any course for which a student registers will be recorded with an appropriate grade on the student’s transcript unless the student drops the course through the proper procedure. A student is expected to attend and participate in each course for which he or she registered until officially withdrawn from that course.
Continuing students may register for no more than 4.75 course credit units during the November and April registration period. Students may not add a fifth full credit course until the day after classes commence and all entering freshman and transfer students have registered.
Change of Registration
Students may change their initial registrations by adding or dropping courses within the timespan specified in the academic calendar for each term. The student’s mentor must approve all changes to registration. A $20 late fee may be charged for petitioned added courses processed after the official add period (first week of class for the fall and spring terms). The charge is the same for both full and fractional credit courses.
Students who register during a long term in excess of five course credit units are required to pay an overload fee (see College Costs). Students may register for no more than 5.75 course credit units in a long term unless approved by their mentor and the Academic Standing Committee. The academic standing petition form for a course overload is available under Forms on the Registrar’s Office website.
Withdrawal and Dismissal from College
In order to prevent questions and ambiguities that could arise at a later date, a student withdrawing from Austin College should consult the vice president for Student Affairs and Athletics, and should give formal written notice of withdrawal. This notice, filed with the student’s record, serves as an explanation of the withdrawal. The college reserves the right to exclude at any time students whose conduct or academic standing it regards as unsatisfactory, without assigning any further reasons.
Class attendance is expected of all students. Within the first week of each term, the instructor will communicate the attendance policy for each class. Irregular attendance or excessive unexcused absences may result in the lowering of the student’s grade for a course or an administrative drop from the course without refund.
The following grades are used at Austin College:
S Satisfactory achievement (work must be at or above C- level)
D Marginally passing
U Unsatisfactory work
I Incomplete. Incomplete grades are given only if circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented completion of the course. To obtain credit, an incomplete grade must be removed by the end of the next regular term. Unless the incomplete is removed within the time set, the grade in the course will automatically become F or U.
W Withdrawal from the course by the end of the tenth week of the fall or spring term
WM Withdrawal from the course for documented medical circumstances
Grade points are earned as follows:
|Letter Grade||Grade Points||Letter Grade||Grade Points|
Courses dropped before the end of the seventh week of classes will not be listed on the official transcript. Courses with grades of F and U are counted as courses attempted for purposes of computing grade point averages. Courses with grades of S, W, WM, or I are not included in the computation of grade point averages.
Course-Level Student Responsibility
To receive credit in a course, each student must satisfactorily complete the assigned work by the end of the term and a final examination when specified. Assigned work in the course may include class recitation, daily written work, short quizzes, library reading, research papers, tests, and other requirements that enhance learning and enable the instructor to evaluate the progress of the student.
Absence from a scheduled final examination without appropriate excuse may result in failure of the course. An appropriate excuse derives from causes beyond the control of the student. The final examination schedule is available on the Austin College website or in the Registrar’s Office.
Grade Grievance Process
When a student is in disagreement with a professor over the course grade (or other course-related issues such as attendance, assignment parameters, etc.), the student should first respectfully discuss the issue with the professor in an attempt to resolve the difference. If this proves to be impossible, the disagreement may be referred in a written appeal to the department chair or program director supporting the course for investigation and a decision. Continuing disagreement on such academic issues may be referred to the division dean or vice president for academic affairs and should begin with a written appeal and explanation of previous attempts to resolve the issue. The last appeal in all cases shall be to the vice president of academic affairs, unless that person is the professor for the course. In that case, the president reviews the final appeal. Attempts to circumvent the systematic appeal process will result in a referral to the appropriate level for consideration. Grade grievances for a course must begin within one full year of the end of the course to be considered appropriately. Grade changes will not be entertained after the baccalaureate degree has been conferred.
Dropping Courses and the Grading Impact
Students who want to drop a course must: 1) obtain a drop slip from the Registrar’s Office, 2) complete the form and obtain the appropriate signatures, and 3) return the slip to the Registrar’s Office by the deadlines specified in the official online academic calendar. Courses with grades of “W” are not included in the computation of grade point averages, however, could impact Satisfactory Academic Progress (see the Financial Aid section of the Bulletin) if earned in excess.
During a regular fall and spring term, students can drop courses through the end of the seventh week of the term, receive no grade for the course, and the course is not listed on the students’ transcripts. Students who drop a course during the eighth through the end of the tenth weeks of the term will receive a grade of “W” for any courses dropped. After the tenth week of classes, students are unable to drop classes; in these cases, students will earn the grade awarded by the faculty member based on their performance in the course. Students can petition to utilize the Medical Withdrawal policy at any time during a term including after the tenth week of classes.
Students may request a Medical Withdrawal when a student’s physical or psychological condition significantly impairs his or her ability to function successfully or safely as a student, and that condition prevents a student from completing the semester. It is expected that the time a student takes away from the college will be used for treatment and recovery. This is a voluntary process initiated by the student, involving withdrawal from all classes for the term, with a protocol in place for reentry.
In order to both obtain a Medical Withdrawal and to return to student status, a student must apply to the vice president of Student Affairs and Athletics. The withdrawal can be granted only with proper medical documentation. Likewise, suitable medical documentation must accompany the student’s request to the vice president of Student Affairs and Athletics to resume enrollment. The request for medical withdrawal and subsequent enrollment must be presented by vice president of Students Affairs and Athletics to the Academic Standing Committee for approval. Students who are granted permission to withdraw for medical reasons will receive grades of “WM” indicating withdrawal for the semester. Withdrawals are not retroactive—the application must be completed and approved before the end of the relevant semester. Refer to the refund policy in College Costs section for more information.
Optional Grading System
Courses used to meet requirements for the First Year Seminar and Discover Requirement must be taken using the standard letter grade system (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, or F). Many majors and minors also require or recommend that students to take courses for a standard letter grade. Information related to those requirements can be found in the Academic Departments and Courses of Study section of the Bulletin.
A student may opt to take a maximum of one course per term on a Satisfactory / Deficient / Unsatisfactory (S/D/U) basis excluding courses that have a mandatory S/D/U grading system. Students may elect no more than a total of four courses during their academic career to be graded on an S/D/U basis. Transfer students may elect a proportionate number of courses to be graded on the S/D/U basis during their academic career as determined by the number of terms attended.
The student designates the grading system to be used in a course at the time of registration but may elect a change in grading system by filing a request with the Registrar’s Office according to the deadline published in the academic calendar. Grades of “S” are not calculated into the cumulative grade point average, however, grades of “D” and “U” are calculated into the cumulative grade point average.
Students may repeat for additional credit only those courses so designated in the Bulletin. When a course is repeated to raise a grade, all attempts and grades remain listed on the transcript but are marked to indicate that the course has been repeated. Only the last attempt is used to determine credit earned and grade point average (unless the grade for the last attempt is a W, in which case the previous attempt is used to determine credit and grade point average). Courses cross-listed in the Bulletin (such as Business Administration 361 and Economics 361) are treated as if they are the same course. Only courses repeated at Austin College can be used to raise a course grade.
Repeating courses may have implications for the financial aid offered by Austin College. Refer to the Financial Aid – Satisfactory Academic Progress section for information related to how repeating courses may impact federal, state, and institutional financial aid.
Transfer Credit for Continuing Students
Students may with prior approval enroll in courses at other colleges and universities and transfer credit to their Austin College degree program. Transfer approval forms are available in the Registrar’s Office. The following transfer credit policies apply to summer or concurrent transfer courses:
- Transfer courses must be consistent with the academic programs of Austin College.
- Only transfer courses with a grade of ‘C’ or higher (2.0 or higher) will be accepted.
- Transfer courses taken in a semester hour system will be converted to course credit units at the rate of four semester hours being equal to one Austin College credit (e.g., a three-hour semester credit hour course is equal to 0.75 course credit units at Austin College). While transfer courses may come in for less than one credit, the course can still meet major/minor requirements and competencies for a degree, with the exception of Discover requirements.
- Transfer courses may not be used to meet Discover requirements if the transfer course is taken after a student has matriculated to Austin College (see The Academic Program – Discover Requirement).
- Transfer courses being used to meet requirements for a major, minor, or prerequisites must be approved by the appropriate department chair or program director.
- Transfer courses not previously accepted are reviewed by the appropriate department chair or program director to ensure the appropriateness of the course in an Austin College degree program.
- Transfer courses being used to meet the language competency requirement must be approved by the chair of the Classical and Modern Language Department.
- Transfer courses will not be used in calculating the cumulative grade point average or major and minor grade point average.
- Transfer courses will not be used as repeats of Austin College courses for recalculation of grade point averages.
- Up to three graduate-level course credits (or nine semester credit hours) can be applied to the undergraduate degree plan. Graduate-level courses transfer into Austin College as one course credit unit.
- Eight of the last 11 course credit units in a student’s degree program must be completed at Austin College.
- Students may petition for individual approval of a transfer course not normally accepted at Austin College. Students must provide a syllabus or complete course description and specify how the course is relevant to their degree program.
- Credit from study abroad is treated as transfer credit and is converted at the rate of four semester hours being equal to one Austin College credit. Students may petition for study abroad transfer credit to be applied to graduation requirements, such as upper level residency credit, Discover requirements, etc.
It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that an official transcript from the other institution is sent to the Registrar’s Office (not Admissions once the student has begun taking classes at AC).
Obtaining a Second Baccalaureate Degree
Austin College Graduates
If students earned their first bachelor’s degree from Austin College, they must meet the following requirements to earn a second bachelor’s degree from Austin College:
- Complete a minimum of 17 course credit units.
- Complete a major and a minor from the current entering Bulletin (academic catalog), meeting all grade point average (GPA), residency, and course requirements related to the selected major and minor.
- Courses taken to fulfill the previous degree cannot be utilized to meet major and minor requirements for the current degree.
- The cumulative GPA would begin with a 0.00. Students must earn at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA in the 17 credits and a minimum of a 2.0 in major and minor courses.
- Given that graduates from Austin College have met the Compass Curriculum Experience, Engage, Discover, and Develop Requirements (foundation, breadth, and competency requirements for students who entered before Fall 2019) in their first degree, they will not have to complete those requirements again.
Graduates from a Different Four-Year Institution
If students earned their first bachelor’s degree from another accredited four-year institution of higher education, they must meet the following requirements to earn a second bachelor’s degree from Austin College:
- Complete a minimum of 17 course credits at Austin College.
- Complete a major and a minor from the current entering Bulletin (academic catalog), meeting all grade point average (GPA), residency, and course requirements related to the selected major and minor.
- Meet the academic catalog requirements for a major and minor and policies going forward upon date of entry for new degree.
- Maintain and graduate with a minimum cumulative GPA of a 2.0 and in the major and minor grade point averages.
- Complete at least two Humanities courses, one Science course, and one Social Science course from Austin College (i.e., 1/2 of the Discover requirements). If the student does not have transfer courses to complete the other half of the Discover requirements, those courses must also be completed at Austin College.
- Competencies can be completed with Austin College courses or equivalent transfer courses.
- The First Year Seminar requirement would be waived as in the case for new transfer students.
All transfer courses eligible for transfer to Austin College would be optimally applied to the 34 course credits required to earn a degree from Austin College.
Academic Probation and Suspension
Students’ academic records are reviewed at the end of each fall and spring term, and an academic standing is assessed. A cumulative grade point average of 2.00 is the minimum standard for graduation. Only Austin College grades are included in this calculation. A student whose cumulative grade point average falls below the thresholds listed below will automatically be placed on academic probation through the following 14-week term. At the end of the probationary term, the following action may be taken:
- If the student’s cumulative grade point average is above the thresholds listed below, the student will be removed from academic probation.
- If the student’s cumulative grade point average is below the thresholds listed below but the student earns a term grade point average of 2.25 or higher and completes a full course load (a minimum of 3 course credits) during the probationary period, the student’s academic probation will be extended through the following 14-week term.
- If the student’s cumulative grade point average is below thresholds listed below and the student’s probationary term grade point average is less than 2.25, the student may be suspended from the college.
Academic Probation Thresholds for First-Year Students Semester
|Semester 1||Semester 2||Semester 3||Remainder of Attendance|
A notation of probationary status (i.e., academic standing) is placed on the transcript of any student on academic probation.
Probation is intended to alert the student to current difficulties and the need for corrective action. Students on academic probation maintain the ability to enroll in courses at Austin College, but they are strongly urged to consult with their faculty mentor or the Office of Student Affairs and Athletics to work out a plan for earning removal from probation. Students on probation are required to concentrate primarily on academic endeavors until their level of academic achievement improves so they can be removed from probation. Those students on academic probation may not hold an office or hold committee responsibility in student organizations, but they may continue to be members of organizations and may attend social functions. Such students are not allowed to represent the college in any official capacity. When there is sufficient justification, an exception to these restrictions may be granted by the Academic Standing Committee chaired by the registrar.
Any student whose term or cumulative grade point average falls below 1.00 is not considered to be making satisfactory progress and may be suspended. A notation of suspension is placed on the transcript of the student’s academic record.
Readmission Following Suspension
A student placed on academic or disciplinary suspension may apply for readmission after a specified period of one or two regular terms. Readmission is at the discretion of Austin College. To be considered for possible readmission, a student must submit an Application for Readmission (or their designees) 45 days (60 days for international students) prior to the term for which readmission is sought. The application is reviewed by the Academic Standing Committee to determine a readmission decision. If readmitted, the student will be on probation with specific stipulations of the progress required for continuation. Failure to meet these stipulations will lead to suspension for a full academic year.
Impact of Academic Performance on Financial Aid
The academic performance of a student may negatively impact the financial aid awarded by Austin College. The Office of Financial Aid is required by state and federal agencies to monitor academic progress in an independent, parallel process at the end of each fall and spring term. The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy should be consulted in the section on Financial Aid – Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress of this Bulletin.
Access to Records and Files: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Academic files for all students are housed in the Registrar’s Office, and students’ educational portfolios are maintained in the Office of Student Affairs and Athletics. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 provides eligible students certain rights and privileges with respect to their educational records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s educational record within 45 days after the day Austin College receives a request for access. A student should submit a written request to the registrar or vice president of Student Affairs and Athletics explaining the record in which the student wants to inspect. Arrangements for a time and place will be made with the student to inspect the record.
- The right to request an amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. The student who wishes to request an amendment must make a written request to the registrar or vice president of Student Affairs and Athletics identifying the record that the student is seeking to change and the rationale for the change. An investigation of the request will be made and the school will notify the student in writing as to the decision and rationale.
- The right to provide written consent before the college discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education record, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Austin College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202
FERPA also stipulates provisions concerning release of material in a student’s file to third parties. Austin College complies fully with the legislation and follows the guidelines issued by the Department of Education. The official statement of compliance by Austin College regarding the 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is published in the Outback Guide. Any questions about these policies and procedures should be referred to the vice president for Student Affairs and Athletics.
Austin College grants Bachelor of Arts degrees for undergraduate students completing all appropriate degree requirements. Austin College has three dates when students may complete their degree requirements: May, August, or January graduation. The official date is placed on the diploma and on the student’s permanent record.
Austin College holds a single graduation celebration each year in May. Candidates completing the requirements for a degree during the spring term are expected to participate in baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies. Students who complete their degree requirements at other times of the year are invited to participate in the May commencement.
Normally, only those students who have completed all degree requirements or candidates for summer graduation may participate in the graduation exercises. Candidates approved by the faculty for May graduation who subsequently fail to complete all necessary requirements may participate in that year’s graduation exercises. The actual diploma is mailed after all requirements are satisfied.
Students who are within three course credit units of completing all degree requirements during the summer may participate in graduation exercises. Candidates for summer graduation should consult the Registrar’s Office concerning requirements for participation in graduation exercises.
The college reserves the right to withhold the degree from any student whose conduct or academic standing it regards as unacceptable.
Refer to graduate degree conferral information in the “Graduate Programs” section of this Bulletin.